Copenhagen, Denmark, and Basel, Switzerland—Lonza, a pharma contract manufacturing company, and Chr. Hansen, a bioscience company, are teaming up for a joint venture in the development and manufacturing of live biotherapeutic products for pharma and biotech customers, according to a press release.

The release says that the companies are creating a 50/50 controlled legal entity that will operate in Basel, Switzerland, and have other production facilities in Denmark and Switzerland. With the strengths of both companies, the joint venture will carry leading competences in handling, formulating, manufacturing, characterizing, and encapsulating anaerobe bacteria.

The venture is intended to position the companies as the leading contract development and manufacturing partner for biotech and pharma customers looking for live biotherapeutic products.

Marc Funk, CEO of Lonza, said in the release: "Our customers will be able to draw on the unrivaled skillset of two world experts that master the exacting processes required for production of strict anaerobic microbes through to formulation and dosage forms. We understand the complexities of bringing pharmaceuticals to market, including the evolving regulatory environment and will offer unique development and pharma-grade manufacturing that addresses an unmet need in the industry, enabling customers to deliver therapies for patients.”

Mauricio Graber, CEO of Chr. Hansen, also commented on the collaboration: “The joint venture is a great opportunity to utilize our microbial capabilities in the LBP industry whilst sticking to our strategy of not becoming a fully-fledged pharma company. Chr. Hansen has more than 145 years of experience in strain development and manufacturing and we are really thrilled to join forces with a leading global company in the pharma CDMO market to become the partner of choice for end-to-end biotherapeutic solutions. The clinical trial supply industry is a rapidly emerging field, not to speak of the very large potential when the first bacteria-based medical products enter the commercial market.”